Meet Jennifer, Tom, and Susan*—three residents of the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) North and West Vancouver’s Circle of Care housing program which provides much needed housing for individuals on the North Shore who have experienced a great deal of trauma and difficulty finding safe and affordable housing.
Living with a developmental disability, Jennifer was treated like a child and called incredibly hurtful names like “idiot” and “stupid.” Her family restricted her from learning to cook, doing her own shopping, or going out on her own—even as an adult.
Just a few months after becoming a Circle of Care resident and receiving training in life skills like meal prep, shopping, and laundry, Jennifer now cooks and shops for herself. She says she feels happy in a way that she has not been in a long time. Jennifer is excited about the future, staying healthy, and being so much more confident in her newfound independence—including learning how to drive!
Here’s how you can support another resident just like Jennifer
Tom is in his sixties, and he has been struggles with bipolar affective disorder and has a history of alcohol addiction. When his roommate deserted him, he couldn’t afford rent on his own. Without managed medical, he experienced a manic phase that led to another eviction and he started drinking again.
A Circle of Care resident for over a year, Tom got help regulating his medication and has stayed sober. A case manager helps him set goals and he has formed strong bonds with other members of the Circle of Care community. Tom says he has found a place where he feels comfortable, supported, and where he belongs.
With your help, another individual like Tom can find community and belonging
A single mother of three kids ages 9, 11, and 13, Susan lives with mental health challenges and has survived intergenerational trauma and domestic violence. She struggled to make ends meet and provide for her kids. Living in a second stage transition house with their end of stay approaching, Susan was desperate to find a safe place for her family to live.
After becoming Circle of Care residents, Susan reports that being in stable housing has allowed her kids to be themselves and break out of their social anxiety shells. She is very excited about a future in which her kids will have opportunities she never got as a child, and feels more supported and connected to resources that can help improve her family’s life.
You can help give a family like Susan’s the chance at a new life
How you can help
These are just three success stories from the Circle of Care program but with your help, we can reach so many more people living with mental illness on the North Shore who are struggling to access safe, supportive housing right now.
If you’re able, please consider making a gift of any size to the Circle of Care program today. Your support of the Circle of Care program helps provide decent, safe, and affordable housing where residents can be themselves and be accepted for who they are— and where they can finally start to see beyond their immediate survival needs and imagine both short- and long-term goals for their lives.
* Pseudonyms used to protect identities